Severn Arts in partnership with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Charity and funding from Arts Council England (ACE) recently commissioned an artwork for a large wall within the outdoor space of the new Urgent and Emergency Care development at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The selected artist Emily Kaye worked with clinical and non-clinical NHS staff, representatives from NHS staff networks and members of the patient forum to co-create a design to inspire and engage both staff and patients.

The artists brief required that the artwork should reflect and celebrate the creativity and people of local communities and be a memorable experience for staff, patients and visitors, bringing local people together positively. In particular the artwork should reflects untold stories and embeds the cultural landscape of Worcestershire. 

The importance of enhancing the clinical environment

Coming into an Emergency Department can be a frightening and stressful experience, however caring the staff are. The look and feel of the department can make a real difference for the better to our patients’ experience.

By creating a calming and attractive space patients will feel less anxious, more cooperative and better able to engage in their ongoing care. These small improvements can make a huge difference to a patient’s outcome. 

Project team 

The project was led by Elaine Knight, Arts Director, Severn Arts and Sophie Burt, Head of Fundraising & Community Development, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Charity. They were supported by  Maya Biddulph, Project Coordinator, B-Experienced Intern.

"I was able to gain an insight into the project as a whole from start to completion and I have had the opportunity to develop a range of skills that will support my search for further employment. It is so rewarding to have worked on a project that will hopefully contribute to improving patients’ and staff’s experience at the new Emergency Department. I am even more excited to pursue further projects that mobilise art to improve health and wellbeing." -  Maya Biddulph 

“The partnership between Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Severn Arts has given me an understanding of what is required in carrying out such a project: going to the clinicians, asking for the brief, seeing which patients are going to be in there, what are we trying to make them feel… and we’re expecting more of these projects coming in soon.” - Sophie Burt 

“Maya’s role was so integral … it was a massive plus to the project. Having someone whose sole objective was to work on this project has been invaluable.” - Sophie Burt & Elaine Knight 

The completed mural was unveiled on Friday 6 October 2023. 

The short video below follows the mural’s creation and includes interviews with its creator, artist Emily Kaye, and the NHS staff who helped make this project a reality.